Routes over, under Suez Canal closed for Sunday anti-government march

June 18, 2013 at 9:28 AM
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CAIRO, June 18 (UPI) -- The Interior Ministry says police protection won't be available for headquarters of political parties during a massive anti-government protest set for Sunday.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said security preparations will include the closure of tunnels and ferries traversing the Suez Canal linking Sinai to the rest of Egypt to prevent militants from crossing the canal, state-run news agency MENA reported Monday.

Egypt's opposition groups are planning nationwide demonstrations to protest President Mohamed Morsi Sunday, the day his first year as president ends.

Demonstration organizers said marchers also will call for Morsi's ouster and early presidential elections.

Ibrahim said the presidential guard is responsible for security at the presidential palace, the anticipated focal point for the rallies in Cairo, is the expected location of the Cairo rallies, Ahram Online reported. He said, however, Interior Ministry forces will be on hand to pre-empt clashes between Morsi supporters and detractors.

The Interior Ministry also said it wouldn't provide security to the political party offices, Ahram Online said.

"Every party is responsible for securing its own offices," Ibrahim said. "However, if violent clashes erupt between two groups ... we will go to disperse the clashes to protect everyone."

"We will not put forces [in front of offices pre-emptively] because we don't have enough manpower," he said.

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